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Premier calls for better creative environment

Updated: Sep 03,2019 09:26 PM

Premier Li Keqiang stressed the core role of innovation in national development, and called for efforts to encourage the innovative and creative potential of young talent at the symposium on the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars on Sept 2.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the fund. Before chairing the symposium, Premier Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, viewed the achievements sponsored by the fund in astrophysics, new materials, energy, medical care and biology. He said the fund plays an irreplaceable role in talent cultivation and scientific advances.

After hearing speeches by eight candidates of the fund at the symposium, Premier Li exchanged views with them and responded to their concerns.

He said the innovation-driven development strategy has promoted the integration of science and the economy, and the rapid growth of new driving forces has supported economic development and employment amid mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

"We should strengthen international cooperation in science and technology, and allow scientific innovation to play a leading role in economic and social development," Premier Li said.

Basic research determines the depth and breadth of the nation’s technological innovation, and weak basic research is the main constraining factor, the Premier said. He asked for solid basic research and application-oriented basic research to support technological innovation and industrial development, and encouraged researchers in the field to bear this ambition.

Government at all levels should strengthen support for basic research in the long term and at a steady pace, and enterprises should be guided to increase contributions to it, the Premier urged. The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars will play a bigger role in improving basic research and increasing innovative capacity.

Breakthroughs in scientific and technological innovation require researchers to work hard without hesitation and with down-to-earth efforts, Premier Li said, asking the government to create a relaxed environment for researchers.

Reforms that delegate power, improve regulation and upgrade services should be further carried out in the field of science and technology, the Premier noted. Efforts should be made to free researchers from constraints, and to improve the mechanisms of research project assessment and income distribution.

Premier Li said the fund should be built as a test field with a demonstration role to give priorities to and benefit more young people. A commitment system for the independent and rational use of funds should be established for young researchers, while relevant departments should open up green channels in management.

Efforts should be made to vigorously promote the spirit of scientists, respect the laws of scientific research and abide by scientific ethics, said the Premier, urging innovation ideas, precision and truth-seeking attitudes while guarding against rashness.

The science fund should be used as the country’s “venture fund” to promote innovation and tolerate failure with the aim to encourage more science and technology personnel, especially young talent, to explore “no man’s land”, produce more science and technology results, and make greater contributions to an innovative country, said Premier Li.

Vice-Premiers Sun Chunlan and Liu He, State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Xiao Jie, and head of the National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng also attended the symposium.